The Bailey Law Firm serves as legal counsel for Minor Wards and for Guardians, and individual attorneys of the firm serve as Guardian of the Property in certain circumstances.
What is a Minor Guardianship?
A minor guardianship is the legal process by which someone is appointed by a Court to take physical custody of a minor and to make all financial and personal care decisions for the minor.
The minor child is called the Ward.
A Guardian of the Person is appointed by a Court to take physical custody of the minor and to make all personal care decisions for him or her. The minor normally resides or lives with the Guardian of the Person.
A Guardian of the Estate or Property is appointed by a Court to make financial decisions for the minor. The Guardian of the Property takes possession of the minor's assets and income and is responsible for protecting, investing and spending the assets and income of the minor.
What are the Duties of a Guardian of the Property?
The Guardian of the Property has the following duties: (1) Duty to File Inventory; (2) Duty to Post Bond; (3) Duty to Manage Assets; and (4) Duty to File an Accounting.
A Guardian of the Property must file an Inventory. The Inventory is a detailed list of the minor's assets. The Inventory is divided into categories of assets such as real estate, stock, bonds, and cash.
A Guardian of the Property may also be required to post a bond and pay a bond premium annually. The Bond is similar to an insurance policy and ensures against theft or loss of the minor's assets.
A Guardian must prepare and file a written plan for managing the minor's assets and income. This plan must be approved by the Court and must consist of a budget for expenses and an investment plan.
A Guardian must keep detailed records. Each year, the Guardian must file with the Court an Accounting consisting of: (a) a list of the minor's assets; (b) all income received; and (c) all expenses paid.
When is Court-Appointed Guardian Required?
A Court-appointed Guardian is required when: (1) the minor's natural or adopted parents are deceased and/or disabled; (2) the minor has been abandoned; or (3) the minor receives an inheritance, large monetary gift, or a settlement or judgment in a lawsuit.
How Can a Court-Appointed Guardianship be Avoided?
A Court-appointed guardianship can be avoided by creating a Minor's Trust in your Will or Living Trust and naming a trustee to manage your minor child's inheritance if you die.